Students need to participate in a variety of workplace learning activities while they are still at school to assist in their development of a realistic understanding of the world of work. These activities are an integral part of their learning and career development and help students to:
- develop employability skills;
- explore possible career options;
- understand employer expectations; and
- increase their self-understanding, maturity, independence and self-confidence.
Students can undertake workplace learning through work experience, structured workplace learning, a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT) or school community work (volunteering work).
Work experience is the short term placement of secondary school students with employers, to provide insights into the industry and the work place in which they are located. Students are placed with employers primarily to observe and learn – not to undertake activities which require extensive training or experience.
For more information, see: Work experience
Structured workplace learning
Structured workplace learning involves students undertaking structured on the job training during which they are expected to master a designated set of skills and competencies related to a course accredited by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
For more information, see: Structured workplace learning
School community work
School community work is work which is undertaken voluntarily by students and directly benefits the community.
For more information, see: School community work
School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships
School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) are an important and distinct pathway within VET for school students undertaking either the VCE or the VCAL. An SBAT offers students the option of combining school, part-time employment and training and forms an integral part of a student’s school learning program and study timetable.
For more information, see: School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Child Safe Standards
The Child Safe Standards are compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian schools to help ensure the safety of children.
Ministerial Order 870, which operationalises the Child Safe Standards in registered Victorian schools, requires the school governing authority to develop and implement risk management strategies to ensure child safety in school environments. School environments include workplace learning environments where students undertake work experience, structured workplace learning, school community work (volunteering) and School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
The Department has developed the following resources to support schools to comply with the requirements of Ministerial Order 870 and implement risk management strategies prior to students undertaking workplace learning:
For more information about the Child Safe Standards, see: PROTECT
Occupational health and safety (OHS)
Schools are required to adequately prepare students for the risks and hazards they may face in the workplace. The OHS section provides teachers with resources to help prepare students for their placement and includes links to the following programs:
To access the above programs and other OHS resources, see: Occupational health and safety resources
Resources for parents
Information for parents on workplace learning for school students in Victoria is available at: Work Experience and Structured Workplace Learning